On Thursday (21st January), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the 16-member squad for the first two games of the four-match Test series in the upcoming India tour. All-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer have returned to this squad.
After completion of the second Test of their ongoing Sri Lanka tour, the England team will tour in India for a complete international series. While the visitors will start the India tour with the four-match Test series, they will then play a five-match T20I series and three-match ODI series against the hosts.
The upcoming four-match Test series between India and England will be the part of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship. MA Chidambaram Stadium (Chennai) will host the first two Tests of this series. While the first Test will begin on 5th February, the second Test will begin on 13th February.
England Test squad: Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood have been rested from the first two Tests in India tour
Captain Joe Root will continue to lead the English Test side. Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns have returned to the Test squad, who missed out the ongoing Sri Lanka tour. During the ongoing Sri Lanka tour, while Stokes and Archer were rested, Burns stayed at home to attend the birth of his first child.
All-rounder Moeen Ali has also been named in this Test squad. Though he has travelled with the national side for the ongoing Sri Lanka tour, he missed both the Tests after testing positive for COVID-19 and extended quarantine.
Meanwhile, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood have been rested for the first two Tests in the forthcoming India tour. All these three cricketers are present in the ongoing Sri Lanka tour. When India toured in England for the last time in 2018 summer, Sam Curran and Indian captain Virat Kohli won the Player of the Series award at the end of the five-match Test series.
The ECB has also named six addition players as the reserves for the first two Tests in the Indian tour.
Ollie Pope will also travel to India, who is recovering from shoulder injury which he got during the home Test series against Pakistan in last September. The 23-year-old cricketer will be added to the Test squad for the Indian tour after passing the fitness test.
Also, if there is no fitness issue in the entire English squad, Craig Overton will return home after completing the Sri Lanka tour.
Full England Test squad for the first two Tests for the upcoming India tour
Test Squad: Joe Root (C), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
Reserves: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.